The optimal solution for sustainable agriculture.

Renaturalisation and sustainable management.

Rewetting – restoring healthy moorland.

Draining moorland has serious ecological effects. This is also evident during the renaturalisation of damaged moorland. The arduous, costly rewetting process takes time – but it is worth every penny.

The goal of the measures – some of which have taken decades – is always the same: rewetting as a prerequisite for peat formation or conservation. The challenge: depending on the type of moor and local environment, the appropriate conditions must first be reconstructed in terms of natural water supply, permeability of the peat substrate and surface slope.

A renaturalisation plan tailored to these conditions is then used to stop drainage. A variety of damming methods are employed to prevent groundwater run-off. Drainage grips or pipes are closed to allow water to be absorbed from higher ground or rainfall.

This also includes the frequent removal of scrub, which is done either by hand or using suitable grazing animals, such as old breeds of sheep. This not only helps the light-loving, low moorland vegetation, but also prevents tree saplings from drawing large quantities of water from the soil.

The vegetation recedes as soon as a stable, high water level typical of moorland is reached. The additional (re-)activation of natural water retention capacities in the moorland basin also contributes to this. If ecologically sustainable agriculture is also practised in the surrounding area, the burden on people and the moor itself is reduced, creating ideal conditions for successful renaturalisation.

Paludiculture – sustainable moorland use.

Under the right conditions, sustainable agriculture is not only possible around moorland, but also directly on the moor itself.

The term paludiculture is used to describe extensive forms of use that are compatible with the moorland ecosystem. The methods being tested include the cultivation of reeds (for roof thatching), peat moss (as a peat substitute for horticulture) or black alder (as a construction and furniture raw material and source of energy). Extensive and moor-friendly agriculture can therefore become a profitable alternative for the owners of conventionally farmed moorland.